Baby Root Canal
If your pediatric dentist has recommended a root canal for your child, you might be wondering why it's necessary for non-permanent, or baby teeth.
The truth is that saving a baby tooth can be just as important as a fully developed adult tooth for a few reasons. The premature loss of baby teeth can interfere with:
- Speech development
- Alignment of newly developing teeth
- And more...
If your child is feeling pain in a tooth, is sensitive to different temperatures, or if a tooth has been chipped or cracked with the pulp exposed, they could need a root canal in order to save the tooth.
With a root canal, the damaged pulp inside the tooth is replaced in order to prevent tooth decay from spreading further and help the tooth to function normally; keeping your child's smile healthy and forming properly.
Root Canals for Primary (Baby) Teeth
For younger children who still have their primary teeth, a root canal treatment is typically recommended to treat extensive decay unless the tooth is about to fall out on its own.
During a root canal, the pediatric dentist will remove all of the diseased pulp tissue from the tooth, disinfect the area, and fill the chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like natural material.
After the treatment is completed, a baby crown is placed on the tooth right away to protect the weakened tooth. These materials are completely biocompatible - meaning that they will not affect any incoming teeth and can be absorbed by the body.
Root Canal Treatment for Children with Permanent Teeth
For children or teens with their permanent teeth in place, root canals are required when bacteria or tooth decay infects the tooth pulp.
Because the infection can permanently damage your child's teeth it's important to visit your pediatric dentist as soon as your child experiences these symptoms:
- Toothaches or sharp pains in teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- A broken tooth with exposed root or nerve
By visiting the dentist as soon as possible, you can stop the problem before it spreads.
Baby Root Canal After Care
Since the affected nerves of the tooth are removed, your child should experience very minimal pain after the procedure. It is common to have some sensitivity for the first two weeks. During this time it is important to continue to keep up with normal dental hygiene habits, with a focus on brushing the gums of the tooth to keep them from becoming inflamed.
If there is excessive pain or irritation, please bring your child in for a re-evaluation.
Preventing the Need for Baby Root Canals
The best way to prevent the need for baby root canals is the same as many other dental procedures, helping children keep their teeth healthy and protected. That starts with good dental hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and the use of protective mouthguards while playing sports.
A pediatric dentist at Barnes, McDonnell & Parsons will be able to take a look at your child's tooth and let you know if a root canal is necessary. From there we can guide you through the next steps.